NOTE: This is a revised review that best represents my current thoughts on the film as opposed to my previous review. You can read the original right here.
Twin Peaks is one of the most influential television series ever made but the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me has never enjoyed the same sort of acclaim – having been met with harsh reviews and also having flopped at the box office. I’m fairly biased in the favour of Twin Peaks as it is my favourite television series of all time but throughout the show you could always tell that Lynch had a particular love for the character of the deceased Laura Palmer. In fact, there are few people whose entire mystery has impacted an entire culture the same way that Laura Palmer has done so, and no one understands the effect her death has left upon many that same way David Lynch does. Yet few people knew her as a person too, which emphasizes the tragic beauty of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
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Feels at its very core like groundwork, but it isn’t especially surprising to me considering the fact it was only James Gray’s debut film. Considering his own tendencies were still in growth here, it was only fitting that Little Odessa was in fact his own debut but it shares a common trait that has always bothered me so greatly about his work. They aren’t badly made films at all, but I try my best and no matter what, I just can’t find myself getting into them. Little Odessa is yet another one of those cases but the fact it’s only his debut feels very clear because right next to his other films, it still feels just like he’s working to form his trademarks on the spot. It hints only at what would be a promising filmmaker but on its own it doesn’t really stand out or do anything fairly remarkable. This won’t be the last James Gray film I watch after my fondness of The Lost City of Z, but I’m not sold in on his work yet.
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Film lovers should already be familiar with the name of Charlie Chaplin considering the huge impact he has laid upon the comedy genre over the years. Richard Attenborough’s biopic comes along the same veins where his Oscar-winning Gandhi has come from and although not nearly as long, it’s in part an entertaining one but at the same time too by-the-numbers for its own good, which is the last thing I’d even want for a film about Chaplin. I don’t wish to dismiss Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin as the sort of film that does present itself as a disservice towards Chaplin’s legacy because in part it feels like it can excellently recreate that joy, although there’s another degree to where I’m not even sure what Attenborough intended his viewers to make of the life of the man behind the Tramp himself. What may have worked for Gandhi didn’t transfer well for a tale about Chaplin.
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It’ll be rather difficult for myself to speak of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me from the perspective of an outsider as Twin Peaks is my favourite television series. It’s clear that coming into Fire Walk With Me without having watched the series prior is not particularly as great an idea given as the ideas will remain clear especially to Twin Peaks fans, and for those unfamiliar, the results will just be on a mere baffling end for it is not accessible to anyone who has not seen the series. Normally I’d refer to the criticism that it’s a longer episode of the series for film, but Fire Walk With Me isn’t that, for there’s a lot that still works even without any connection to the series. It was what I would have wanted as a fan, though if it were a single episode, it wouldn’t be ranked among my favourites. Continue reading →